Jet lag is one of the most illogical things on the planet. If I was here in Rabat, living away happily, uneventfully, and one night I couldn’t sleep and next day I was tired, I would have no problem going to sleep at 4:00 in the afternoon. So why, just because my body thinks it’s 4 p.m. when it’s really midnight, can’t I sleep? Does not compute.

Right now, it’s not midnight. It’s 12 hours later. I am still in my jet-lag daze, day two. They say it takes a day for every hour you change. I’m hoping that, since I barely got over jet lag during my less-than-two-week trip, I’ll be able to adjust more quickly back to Moroccan time.

Here are a few travel tips from my recent trip:

1. If you are flying to visit your dying mother, don’t watch “The Changeling” on the airplane. It is a very sad movie. It will make you cry, and you will be embarrassed, seated between two young strangers, snuffling and speaking bad French.

2. In spite of the recent air disaster, fly Air France if at all possible. Their spinach lasagna was actually really good–had it been served on a normal plate and properly heated, you would never think airline food. They have complimentary champagne, which is a very nice idea. AND, you can walk to the back anytime and get yourself a Haagen-Dazs bar. I am not making this up! Kind of makes you disgusted with all these American airlines fussing on and on about how they can’t let mothers feed their babies and how they need to charge you extra for toilet paper now, or whatever the latest is.

3. Fly Air France FROM France. You will get camembert cheese and food that is better than typical airline fare. However, when you fly from America, your food will be typical, and you will get a tiny rectangle of rubbery Monterey jack cheese, which will be a disappointment. How can America expect to be a world leader when our cheese has the consistency of rubber and we only have 3 kinds? Surely we are fooling ourselves. Disney isn’t going to cut it.

4. Don’t let your husband have a drink of your coffee on the way to the airport. He will, in trying to figure out the handy top of the travel mug, somehow spill a tiny bit, which will drip on your pants when you take a drink next. Nothing like starting out with a coffee stain on the front of your tan pants (trousers to you Brits out there) before a long flight in which you will snuffle (see Tip #1) and speak with a thick American accent. You will be extra-glad to exit that plane and never see your seat-mates again!

5. When doing your last grocery shopping before leaving for two weeks, you may realize that no one else in your family is capable of making a salad, so you skip buying lettuce and green peppers, for example, but you buy two kilos of carrots and leave notes encouraging people with how easy it is to eat a carrot (just wash and cut off the ends! No need to peel!). If you do this, prepare yourself:  on your return, you will find two kilos of carrots sitting in the crisper.

6. If you’re sitting in a nursing home holding your mother’s hand and you overhear an aide say, “I nearly didn’t come in today! Weatherman says it’s supposed to be 90 degrees and to stay home if you can!”, it’s okay to smirk. After all, you can remember when 90 degrees freaked you out too. But seriously, folks, 90 degrees? Northwesterners are spoiled, spoiled, spoiled! We lived in a desert village once for the month of July, and 90 degrees was the night-time low.

Also, thank you all for your condolences and prayers and sympathy on my mother‘s death. Individual emails coming soon. Although I’m sad and it’s just beginning to sink in how much I will miss her, it was so evidently her time that for her sake, I really can’t wish her back. We’re never ready to lose a parent, but Mum had been slipping away for the last couple of years. I know she is so much happier now, having left her frail and broken body behind and entered into life.